Opinion Brief

The Wizard of Oz 3D: Will it spoil a cinematic classic?

To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Warner Bros. announces a 3D re-release of the classic family film. Fans are skeptical

Attention, fans of Dorothy and Co.: The next time you're off to see the wonderful Wizard of Oz, you should probably bring your 3D glasses along. This week, Warner Bros. announced that it will celebrate the company's 90th anniversary by converting its most beloved film — 1939's The Wizard of Oz — into 3D. (Watch a trailer from a previous Wizard of Oz re-release below.The Wizard of Oz's fully remastered, 3D-converted re-release will arrive on DVD and Blu-Ray in fall 2013, and a 3D re-release in movie theaters is widely expected to follow. Of course, not everyone is excited about this new twist on an old favorite. Fans have decried the decision as "the ultimate slap in the face" to devotees of the classic film. Is it really such a bad idea?

3D could improve The Wizard of Oz"The Wizard of Oz is one classic-era film I'd love to see in 3D," says Lou Lumenick at The New York Post. The film's bold colors and otherworldly setting make 3D a perfect fit. And if you really don't want to see The Wizard of Oz in 3D, you don't have to. Though Warner Bros. hasn't made an official announcement about a non-3D Blu-Ray release, it's obvious that the studio won't miss the chance to release its "most valuable and lucrative catalogue title" in every format imaginable — including a version without 3D.
"DVD extra: 3D Wizard of Oz no cause for alarm"

3D won't make The Wizard of Oz better: "Can't we just appreciate this movie for the gem it's always been?" asks Britt Hayes at Screen Crush. There's a reason that The Wizard of Oz has endured for more than 70 years — it's a "beautiful film, and there's really nothing they need to do to make it better." Warner Bros. is crazy to think they can take one of the most beloved movies of all time, slap on a few 3D effects, and make it better.
"Warner Bros. is converting The Wizard of Oz to 3D, obviously, and releasing the largest Blu-Ray/DVD collection ever"

Either way, this is a cynical, moneymaking move: The really irritating thing about this story is the way Warner Bros. keeps trying to squeeze more money out of The Wizard of Oz, says Kevin Jagernauth at Indiewire. This movie has already had a "Two-Disc Special Edition" and a "Three-Disc Collector's Edition," not to mention another release on both DVD and Blu-Ray in 2009. Asking your biggest fans to shell out more money for yet another version of The Wizard of Oz is "a pretty appalling way" to treat the people who helped you reach a 90th anniversary in the first place.
"Warner Bros. converting classic The Wizard of Oz to 3D for yet another home video release"

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